The document signed by Pete Rose in which he agreed to a lifetime gambling-related ban from baseball remains unsold.
It was put up for auction starting on October 16 by Goldin Auctions, but none of the bids met the unrevealed reserve price, which is the minimum price the seller would accept. The highest bid was about $236,000 in the auction that ended Saturday night.
According to Ken Goldin of Goldin Auctions, the seller is not Pete Rose himself. Rose signed three copies of the five-page banishment agreement on August 23, 1989, and his copy (which reportedly fell into the hands of a third person) is apparently the one that was up for sale to the highest bidder. The Rose banishment document also bears the signature of MLB’s then-commissioner A. Bart Giamatti and Fay Vincent, the deputy commissioner. Giamatti died eight days later.
ESPN reports that Goldin considered the Pete Rose banishment agreement “the most important document in baseball history,” but evidently memorabilia collectors didn’t agree. Ken was of the opinion that the document could bring about $1 million at auction, slightly more than the record-setting price for the Babe Ruth 1919 contract that sent Ruth from the Red Sox to the Yankees.
Goldin is apparently trying to broker a private sale of the document, according to Sports Illustrated.
With 24 years in the big leagues, Pete Rose is the all-time MLB leader in hits with 4,256. Rose has unsuccessfully applied for reinstatement from the “ineligible list” in 1992 and 1997, which would have made him eligible for the MLB Hall of Fame. Pete Rose finally admitted to betting on baseball while managing the Cincinnati Reds in his 2004 autobiography My Prison Without Bars.
Pete Rose was a 17-time All-Star and a lifetime .303 hitter among other records. Over his career, he won three World Series rings, three batting titles, and one MVP award, spending most of his MLB service with the Reds.
A replica of the banishment document is for sale on Pete Rose’s official website.
Do you think the Baseball Commission should reinstate Pete Rose so he can eventually enter the MLB Hall of Fame?